Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has amended a restriction on Hong Kong Airlines' (HKA) air operator's certificate, allowing the carrier to add two new aircraft to its fleet.
"Since HKA has demonstrated to the CAD of its competence and capability in operating two recently delivered A330 aircraft, its AOC is therefore amended accordingly," says a CAD spokeswoman.
"Whether HKA can operate any additional aircraft under its AOC will be subject to the company's demonstration to the CAD's satisfaction that they have the capability to do so."
HKA could not be immediately reached for comment.
The civil aviation regulator had imposed a condition on HKA's AOC last June, preventing the carrier from expanding its fleet. Under the condition, the airline's fleet of aircraft is listed under its AOC and the carrier will not be able to operate any aircraft outside the list, unless the condition is lifted.
The CAD explained that HKA had expanded its fleet very rapidly in recent years, and that it needs to show that it has the necessary equipment, maintenance and organisation staff in place for the safe operation of a larger fleet.
HKA, a division of China's HNA Group, announced in 2011 that it will receive more than 50 new aircraft over the next four years to expand its international and Chinese networks.
The carrier had previously said that it plans to grow into a bigger player in the market to compete with flag carrier Cathay Pacific.
HKA operates a fleet of 20 Airbus A320s and A330s, and has 57 aircraft, including A350s and A380s on order.